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America 32, Us 11, Russia 11, China 10, Iran 6, Mexico 4, U.s. 3, Obama 3, United States 3, Venezuela 3, Afghanistan 2, Colombia 2, Latin America 2, Idaho 2, El Paso 1, Bush 1, Islam 1, Perdue 1, Mitt Romney 1, Harry Truman 1,
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    April 6, 2010
    7:30 - 8:00am EDT  

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screed they will put out. i think the president disappointed a lot of people including myself especially when the honduran supreme court said their anti-american prochavez president had violated the constitution. and their military removed him from office. our president said put him back. which i think surprised folks. and i think that was an inappropriate action and when the colombia and a trade basis. colombia standing up with hugo chavez. we deny him that special status and he goes before the united nations and chastisize -- chastises israel. and i think the decision to withdraw our support for missile defense from poland and the czech persian gulf led those great friends to be very concerned about america's willingness to stand with them.
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and at the same time, perhaps designed to reset relations with russia as the president indicated. we got nothing for it from russia. so i'm afraid the steps that he took have confused our friends. made our foes, if you will, continue headlong. in some cases in a course that's not helpful to the world. you have both iran pursuing its nuclear folly headlong. north korea, of course, did nuclear tests. even as the president was speaking carried out various tests. this is in my opinion an indication that they felt the president was not going to be a strong defender of american values and american principles. human rights, democracy, free trade, free enterprise, those words of apology and those statements i think have emboldened those who find us as a weakened enemy. >> host: in the book you make the argument that it's important to keep america strong and keep
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america as a leading presence in terms of world affairs. and in specific in dealing with iran, for example, and their rising nuclear ambitions, you say it's important to say right now to iran, before anything happens, that if they were to take any action, that america would devastate that. that there would be a response that would be nuclear and devastating. >> guest: well, i think -- and to some degree we have made that statement to the world. but i think it's important that the world understands that if nations are going to seek nuclear status as iran is quite obviously doing. and if they seek that status and they obtain fisill material, if that fissile material finds it in the hands of someone who will use it, our response will not be to the terrorist organization that uses it but potentially to the nation that provided it. and as a result, the people in
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iran will say do we want fissile material in our country and have the risk of being called into the circle of suspects in the event of a nuclear event in the world sometime over the next couple of decades? i think people should recognize becoming nuclear has an enormous peril. and that is that your material might get out. it might be used. and the united states may respond against that nation as it would against whoever used that nuclear device. >> host: so you think the ayatollahs would be fearful then? >> guest: i think the people of iran would grow in recognition that becoming a nuclear nation is not solely a matter of pride. but becoming a nuclear nation has associated with it an enormous downside. that there's a risk to being nuclear. if somehow your regime does not carefully manage the fissile material and it becomes used somewhere in the world, your nation might be the subject of some kind of retaliation. i think the people of iran need
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to understand very clearly the down sides of becoming a nuclear nation. i also wish that this president and prior presidents had been successful in dissuading iran from its folly by exacting and exacting very tough sanctions against iran. iranian citizens, business people and political leaders ought to know that when you violate the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, that the consequences are going to be severe. they ought to know that military options are on the table. and while those are on the table, those that are actively employed would be very crippling sanctions. and we simply have not been successful in putting in place those kinds of actions. >> host: but you do believe -- and you say in the book that america remains the leading military power in the world? >> guest: oh, yes. >> host: but at the same time, you say there's a need for increased spending on defense. and you worry in the book that, in fact, this administration and others have not put enough money into defense spending. now you tell a really funny
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story about seeing a guy with a sign with more than half of the u.s. budget goes to defense spending and when you break it down and conclude the money spent and the chinese and the light and the chinese are outspending and others are trying to diminish us in terms of military might. >> guest: you can understand the sentiment of the other nations is they would like to get stronger. you're not going to try to dissuade the chinese to not try to build their military. and of the threats around the world and the missions our military might be called upon to carry out. and our military has a far broader ray of responsibilities and missions than let's say a nation like china or like russia or other nations in the world. and to protect ourselves, to protect our sea lanes to respond to humanitarian crises, to have a nuclear deterrent to have a nuclear weapons and the list goes on and on, it requires an annual budget of roughly 4% of
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our gdp. right now we're at about 3.8% of gdp. and total federal spending is over time been approximately 20% of the gdp. so we're saying that the defense budget ought to be about 20% of the total gdp. there's a lot of percentages there. i apologize for taking that course. but i think sometimes we say, gosh, we're spending so much more than any other nation in the world. why should we be spending any more in the military. 'cause they spend far less than we do. but actually as you go behind their numbers and you find they don't report all of their military spending. and their costs, for instance, of standing up an army where they have conscription, not a paid volunteer army their costs are much, much lower. when you look at a comparable basis china is spending not at 10% the level of the united states but something closer to half the level of the united states. if we were paying with the same cost if you will for our various resources. and russia likewise is spending a good deal more than they
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report. what that suggest is that we really can't continue to pare down our military might that we be confident and that we and our friends will be able to be protected in the around. >> host: the title of the book, "no apology: the case for american greatness." you outline in the book for competing powers. >> guest: yeah. >> host: russia, china, iran, and the terrorists, the jihadists. >> guest: uh-huh. >> host: so when it comes to russia, let's talk about it for a second. you say russia is building on its energy -- an energy economy. becoming richer and more powerful. china becoming more of an authoritarian state. and then, of course, you have iran, conquest and compulsion, you say? >> guest: i think following the collapse of the soviet union and the demise of its power after
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they -- the success of the cold war strategy that our nation pursued, we had a glorious period of time where we figured we'd won and they lost and the world was going to be safe. i remember -- i think it was charles krauthammer this is america's holiday for history. but the truth is that some of these powers have great ambitions on becoming world superpowers if not becoming the dominant player in the states. you mentioned at first russia. we thought russia lost and we'd won and we didn't have to worry about them but russia's energy resources are so extraordinarily rich that they're able to use their wealth to restore their military might. they have more natural gas than anyone in the world. they tie us for their coal reserves. they sold more energy last year than saudi arabia. so they're using that extraordinary wealth in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year of revenue to help rebuild a military that can be
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competitive with our own. it's a long way from there today. >> host: and i think you also write that you feel that they are supportive of iran because it would give them more control over the world's energy supply? >> guest: i think as russia looks at their strategy and their attempt to reassert themselves as the leading or at least one of the leading players in the world stage, they recognize that energy is the key to their reassertion of that kind of status. and that means not only their own extraction but pipelines going to europe and other places. if they can control all the pipelines, they'll have more power, more monopoly power. if they likewise have relations with iran and if iran were to become the superpower of the middle east by virtue of its nuclear ambition, they might have more influence over the energy in the middle east. likewise, venezuela, they're making real efforts to get closer to venezuela, venezuela is an energy-rich nation.
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it contemplates the power associated with energy. china on the other hand is building their might in the old-fashioned way. which is they've adopted in some respects free enterprise. not quite like ours with all the rules and guidelines and strictures of a fair and balanced free enterprise system. they adopted free enterprise and they're winning in a lot of respects and their wealth has allowed them to ramp up their military in a way unseen since the german buildup prior to second world war. they built 30 submarines over the last 10 years. they built the capacity to create their own fighter aircraft. they can go up against our f-16. they're going to be a serious contender militarily. and, of course, the jihadists don't have any of those capacities. they don't have the wealth and the product of resources and the military might but they don't intend to go head-to-head with us. they intend to terrorize us and
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cause the decay or the destruction of our system by virtue of their own more selective guerrilla type approaches. >> host: well, when you stop now and think about the presence then of china, of russia escalating, of course, is the terrorist, you say wait a second. you know, the united states must remember that its goal is not to be popular. but to be strong. that that is the bottom line. >> guest: uh-huh. >> host: yes, you talk about an increase use of what you call soft power. >> guest: yeah. >> host: soft power in specific in terms of selling america to poor countries, to areas where i think you described, for example, the russians, the chinese, is interested in places like yemen, somalia, where people are impoverished. young men looking for work open to radical ideas to becoming jihadists. so how does soft power figure into your calculation? >> guest: well, soft power is a very effective tool in enhancing
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american and western values around the world. it's always good to have a strong fist, if you will, as theodore roosevelt used to say, speak softly and carry a big stick. that's a big part of national power. but soft power, meaning the ability to influence the thinking of others and to encourage them to adopt principles that are peaceful and that promote human rights is also critical for our country. and i think we vastly underuse the resources we have. we're an extraordinarily wealthy nation. we trade with people around the world. they want access to our market. they want our technology, our healthcare technology. our education skills. all these things we could provide in such a way that nations would think more kindly of us, more likely to work with us. but, you know, i kept on hearing when i was in latin america, for instance, about the miracle cure. or the miracle operation. and i said well, you know, what's that? and they said oh, fidal castro he provides cataract surgery and
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bring sight to people. he does that for a tiny fraction of the investment that we make in latin america and he's appreciated because he has branded it so effectively. we're great at some branding. look, americans could sell coca-cola and pepsi to people all over the world for like a half a day's wage for a can of coke but yet we're not selling democracy as well as we could. we're not selling our values and the things that america has done to help lift the world. so rather than, if you will, apologizing for who we are, and for what we've accomplished, i think we should be drawing on the very best of our schools from the private sector to make sure would we communicate who we are and exercise the soft power influence we could be exercising to draw more people to the kinds of values that will enhance their lives and promote the stability and peace on the pleasant. -- planet. >> host: regarding global warming, you say look at developing countries, in
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specific, like at china. china cannot be trusted to put in place any regulations or limits on the emission of greenhouse gases because they have such a strong belief in, of course, economic growth. that's what they're all about. >> guest: yeah. >> host: so you say for us it would be in some sense futile on the international stage to unilaterally say we'll put in some limits, some cap-and-trade standards if we're going to compete with the chinese. well, what does that say to the world about our commitment to limiting global warming? >> guest: well, they don't call it america warming. they call it global warming and if if one's primary concern is global warming, you have to look at what the emissions are going to be on a global basis and make sure actions that are taken don't put america and american workers at a disadvantage but they instead make adjustments for the entire country. that's why the president's cap-and-trade plan which would only end up affecting americans and american employers would end up with let's say the largest
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emitters, the largest users of energy would say why build a new factory in america. as a matter of fact, why keep a factory in america going when i'm going to have to pay far more expensive prices for energy in this country. why not go to other nations like brazil, indonesia, china, that don't have those cap-and-trade costs and, therefore, i could be more effective and more cost-effective. >> host: well, what about american leadership there or america acting as a role model? >> guest: well, if the role model causes the largest emitters in the world which are china and other developing nations to simply smile and say, boy, they made our life easier, america is cutting, cutting, cutting as they're growing their emissions like crazy, we haven't really helped the world. i don't think that's the leadership what america needs. what america can do we can pursue a course which in my view has perhaps even more compelling reason to pursue it and that is to pursue a course of energy independence.
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and the course that would allow us to become energy independent has as a byproduct and an important byproduct production of greenhouse gases. to become energy independent we need to use a lot more natural gas. that's a far less c02 emitting energy source than coal or than oil. to become energy independent we need more nuclear power plants. likewise, that's anonemiter -- a none emitter of c02. and taking a as a leader in the world but at the same time putting ourselves in a competitive disadvantage with nations that are, you know, competing for the very jobs that our workers want. >> host: getting back to this idea of soft power. in the book when you are talking about muslims, you make the case that these -- the ideology is really an evil one on many levels. that the whole notion of moderate muslims doesn't conform with what you read in the koran.
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that you see in there, you know, instructions for people to dominate the world, to capture, to take over, not to simply go out and prosthetize but to go out and conquer. and you say people don't recognize this as part of what muslims teach. >> guest: well, i wouldn't apply that principle to muslims as a group. i think the nation of -- excuse me, the religion of islam is by the great majority of muslims a religion which does not seek to dominate their neighbor or to conquer their neighbors or to carry out jihad against america or the west. but there is a strain of islam which is referred to by various names but i use the term "radical violent jihadism," which traces its roots to a number of intellectual scholars who believe that the role of the koran as they read it as a very
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aggressive, mill tarisic group. and people like bin laden and they seek to draw support from muslim youth and other muslims. most people reject that. you look at a place like afghanistan, my guess is that the most -- the great majority of people would be delighted if they never saw al-qaeda or for that matter the taliban again. but nonetheless, that theology does exist. and it is a theology which looks at us as somehow being very evil. it is a theology that says everything that is america is of wrong and is a threat to them. they see, for instance, that democracy itself is blasphemy. their view is that the law, shari'a should come from god. and that the idea that individuals will create their own law in the democratic process is in their view a form of blasphemy.
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so almost everything we do from their perspective is contrary to their view of how god wants things to be. and as a result, they take a very violent means to try and overthrow the modern movement within the muslim world. i think our way forward in the muslim world is to support moderate voices among muslims and to support moderate governments among muslims and to help them in rejecting this violent extreme ideology. >> host: why don't you think those governments are doing it themselves? >> guest: and many are. and some of them could use the help. the philippine government was dealing with a al-qaeda-like movement. was finding it very difficult. there were several thousand members of this group called abu-sief that was terrorizing the people of the philippines and our military was invited to work in partnership with the philippine military, training exercises, carrying out if you
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will humanitarian efforts among the people and the communities or the islands where abu sief was most active. and with this kind of soft power application by our military and special forces and intelligence forces, we were able to turn the tide against them. and their numbers are reportedly down to the hundreds. >> host: and by the way, in the book you give a real toast to security forces. and think that -- we need to do more with special forces with a smaller footprint with going in. and let's look at a place like saudi arabia. why do you think the saudi arabians seems tolerant of this radical violent faith? >> guest: well, i don't know that the monarchy in saudi arabia is of enthusiastic about the violence 'cause i think they realize that by having funded over the years wahhabism which preaches this extreme form of
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islam, that maybe in some respects they put themselves in great danger. i think it was cover -- it wasn't sunny perdue. i had someone mention to me an old churchill line which was, you know, they're paying the cannibal to eat them last. this support of radical islam on the part of the monarchy over the years may well have ended up in being a significant threat to that monarchy itself. i think in the world of islam -- there's so many different strains and sunni and shia and different national interests. and so jihadism takes very different shapes and different places. but nonetheless, the strain presents a threat to local governments, to local muslim governments which they don't -- which these jihadists don't believe are sufficiently
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fundamentalists and it presents a threat to the entire world. >> host: now, on this book tour -- as i understand it you're going to 19 or 20 states including the district of columbia. >> guest: uh-huh. >> host: and these states include new hampshire. obviously, iowa, missouri. so people are going to say it looks like you're on a campaign tour. and the one line in the book that is so critical of president obama is that given all the foreign policy issues we've touched on, that this president seeks to be transcendent of america and america values and america interests as opposed to being an advocate of american interest. that would seem to be almost like a campaign slogan you would have to reduce it in size. >> guest: tie it down. >> host: but the idea is that you believe we need an american president who stands for america. and you do not see that in this president obama who seeks to
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transcend to be greater or larger than america. >> guest: well, i think anytime the president of the united states travels the world and is critical of the united states, that it's going to lead to the kinds of stories that came out of the british press saying this president has been more critical of his home country on foreign soil than any president in history. and that creates the very real president that he somehow he thinks he is above america or its history or there's something he needs to distance himself from. i think that's a mistake. harry truman and dean atchison following the second world war said america would adopt a new strategy. having tried isolationism and having been drawn into two world wars despite that, they said, look, america needs to be active in the world. but we also need to promote our values. human rights, democracy, free trade, freedom. and finally we need to be strong. standing with our allies and fighting foes wherever they might exist. those principles of foreign policy i think the president has questions in his first year.
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and i think he would be wise to return to them when iranians take the streets -- to the streets, for instance, and protest an election they think is unfair, i think our president should have spoken out clearly and sharply saying we support voice of freedom wherever they are. you can imagine that ronald reagan would have had something to say and so would bill clinton in that setting at least in my view. >> host: but what you're saying here is that this president in a way then is failing to properly promote america to the worded? -- world. >> guest: i think when you try and distance yourself from american history, when you suggest that somehow america needs to apologize to the world, that that elevates perhaps the individual who makes the apology and curries favor to those who are the blame america first crowd but it does not stand as a -- as the kind of strong indication that america has values that we recognize are
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enduring and that are right for us and right for others who are willing to obtain them. that doesn't mean by the way that we force our will on other nations. but it does mean that we stand beside those in other nations who are seeking freedom. >> host: and when you hear the criticism that came from the bush administration in terms of the failure to find weapons of mass destruction or cowboy diplomacy being too aggressive, to high-handed, you know, come and get them, you know, all that kind of thing, don't you think there are those who might be wary of an aggressive foreign policy? >> guest: well, there is a middle posture where one does not have to be seen as being timid in the defense of american values as i think this president is seeing. or moving to excess. and if you will, you don't want to speak loudly and carry a small stick. and there's a posture of showing
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american strength, commitment to american values and ideals following through on commitments that we make, standing with our friends and our allies. and i think president bush did so. i think time and again he made it very clear at that we were going to stand with our allies and that people who opposed us were going to receive the strong response of america. we were hit on 9/11. he took out the taliban. in afghanistan. we believed we were receiving threat from saddam hussein who by the way could have removed the threat instantly by saying come on in. all of my facilities are open. the international inspectors could look in the palaces. they could look in the -- in the calm military area and they could go anywhere they want to go. take a look because we don't want to have america come after us. he could have done that and he did not do that and he could not have suffered the fate he well did if he opened up his nation to that kind of inspection. but those things being said, i
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respect president bush's strength in defending this country. and i think president obama is going to have to move in that course or he will be seen as being a weak president on the international stage. >> host: all right. we're going to take a break. mitt romney, his new book is called "no apology: the case for american greatness." >> i know what the challenge is and we're in a unique position to go to war. what we need is policymakers in washington is to develop a roadmap so we can get it done. >> something about energy policy that you'd like to talk about on your blog? at the new you c-span video library, you can search it, watch it, clip it and share it. over 160,000 hours of video. from yesterday or 10 years ago, every c-span program since 1987. the c-span video library, cable's latest gift to america. >> we're back with governor mitt romney. he's the author of a new book, "no apology: the case for american greatness."
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you describe the book as a display of your positions on key issues. it's really an intellectual journey on your part. so many books that you've read, so many ideas. but not a very personal book in some ways. so just for a second let's talk about the personal. one of the things that caught my eye in the book is that your dad was born in mexico? >> guest: yeah, his parents had escaped persecution of folks of their mormon faith. and i guess it was his grandfather and parents had moved to mexico. and while there, they were enjoying a pretty good life, a accountable life. and there was revolution and disruption in mexico and so when my dad was 5 or 6 years old. they packed up and get on a train and came back to el paso. and then ultimately moved to idaho. they were in california, idaho, salt lake.
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his dad went bankrupt more than once in his corruption business. my dad worked as a laborer putting up lath and plaster. i think it was the precursor of wall board. and dad never put enough money and time together to complete college. but he went on to have a very successful career in the business world. ultimately in politics as well. >> host: he didn't run for president? >> guest: he did run for president. >> host: how could someone run for mexico and be run for president. >> guest: they studied this in 1968. the constitution says, if my memory holds, that a president must be a natural-born citizen. now, he was not naturalized. by virtue of the fact that his parents were both u.s. citizens, he was a natural-born citizen. and, therefore, could become the united states president. in the same way let's say a serviceman or woman living abroad and they had a child abroad, that child would not be prevented from becoming a u.s. president simply by having been born in foreign soil. ...

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